(a)     For all regulated activities, unless specifically exempted in Section 1043.031:

(a)(1)     Preparation and implementation of an approved SWM site plan is required.

(a)(2)     No regulated activities shall commence until the municipality issues written approval of an SWM site plan, which demonstrates compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

(a)(3)     The SWM site plan shall demonstrate that adequate capacity will be provided to meet the volume and rate control requirements, as described under 1043.033 and 1043.034 of this chapter.

(a)(4)     The SWM site plan approved by the Municipality shall be on-site throughout the duration of the regulated activities.

(b)     For all regulated earth disturbance activities, erosion, and sediment control, BMPs shall be designed, implemented, operated, and maintained during the regulated earth disturbance activities (e.g., during construction) to meet the purposes and requirements of this chapter, and to meet all requirements under Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Code (including, but not limited to, Chapter 102, Erosion and Sediment Control) and the Clean Streams Law.  Various BMPs and their design standards are listed in the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual (E&S Manual) No. 363-2134-008 (April 18, 2000) as amended and updated.

(c)     For all regulated activities, stormwater BMPs shall be designed, installed, implemented, operated, and maintained to meet the purposes and requirements of this chapter and to meet all requirements under Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Code and the Clean Streams Law, conform to the state water quality requirements, meet all requirements under the Storm Water Management Act and any more stringent requirements as determined by the Municipality.

(d)     The Municipality may, after consultation with PADEP and the Conservation District, approve measures for meeting the state water quality requirements other than those in this chapter, provided that they meet the minimum requirements of, and do not conflict with, state law, including, but not limited to, the Clean Streams Law.

(e)     All regulated activities shall include, to the maximum extent practicable, measures to:

(e)(1)     Protect health, safety, and property.

(e)(2)     Meet the water quality goals of this chapter by implementing measures to:

(e)(2)(A)     Minimize disturbance to floodplains, wetlands, natural slopes, existing native vegetation and woodlands.

(e)(2)(B)     Create, maintain, or extend riparian buffers and protect existing forested buffers.

(e)(2)(C)     Provide trees and woodlands adjacent to impervious areas whenever feasible.

(e)(2)(D)     Minimize the creation of impervious surfaces and the degradation of Waters of the Commonwealth, and promote groundwater recharge.

(e)(2)(E)     Protect natural systems and processes (drainageways, vegetation, soils, and sensitive areas) and maintain, as much as possible, the natural hydrologic regime.

(e)(2)(F)     Incorporate natural site elements (wetlands, stream corridors, mature forests) as design elements.

(e)(2)(G)     Avoid erosive flow conditions in natural flow pathways.

(e)(2)(H)     Minimize soil disturbance and soil compaction.

(e)(2)(I)     Minimize thermal impacts to Waters of the Commonwealth.

(e)(2)(J)     Disconnect impervious surfaces by directing runoff to pervious areas, wherever possible and decentralize and manage stormwater at its source.

(f)     Impervious Areas

(f)(1)     The measurement of impervious areas shall include all of the impervious areas in the total proposed development, even if development is to take place in stages.

(f)(2)     For developments taking place in stages, the entire development plan must be used in determining conformance with this chapter.

(f)(3)     For projects that add impervious area to a parcel, the total impervious area on the parcel is subject to the requirements of this chapter; except that the volume controls in Section 1043.033 and the peak rate controls of Section 1043.034 do not need to be retrofitted to existing impervious areas that are not being altered by the proposed regulated activity.

(g)     If diffused flow is proposed to be concentrated and discharged onto adjacent property, the applicant must document that adequate downstream conveyance facilities exist to safely transport the concentrated discharge, or otherwise prove that no erosion, sedimentation, flooding, or other harm will result from the concentrated discharge.

(g)(1)     Applicant must provide an easement for proposed concentrated flow across adjacent properties to a drainage way or public right-of-way.

(g)(2)     Such stormwater flows shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter.

(h)     Stormwater drainage systems shall be provided in order to permit unimpeded flow along natural watercourses, except as modified by stormwater management facilities or open channels consistent with this chapter.

(i)     Where watercourses traverse a development site, drainage easements (with a minimum width of 20 feet and include the 100-year water surface) shall be provided conforming to the line of such watercourses.  The terms of the easement shall prohibit excavation, the placing of fill or structures, and any alterations that may adversely affect the flow of stormwater within any portion of the easement.  Also, maintenance, including mowing of vegetation within the easement, may be required, except as approved by the appropriate governing authority.

(j)     When it can be shown that, due to topographic conditions, natural drainageways on the site cannot adequately provide for drainage, open channels may be constructed conforming substantially to the line and grade of such natural drainageways.

(k)     Design storm volumes and precipitation intensities to be used in the analysis of discharge or runoff shall be obtained from either of the following sources:

(k)(1)     The Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the United States, Atlas 14, Volume 2, Version 3.0, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service, Hydrometeorological Design Studies Center, Silver Spring, Maryland.  NOAA’s Atlas 145 can be accessed at http://hdsc.nws.noaa.gov/hdsc/pfds/.

(k)(2)     The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Drainage Manual, Publication 584, Chapter 7, Appendix A.

(l)     Minimization of impervious surfaces and infiltration of runoff through seepage beds, infiltration trenches, etc., are encouraged, where soil conditions and geology permit, to reduce the size or eliminate the need for detention facilities.

(m)     Infiltration BMPs should be dispersed throughout the site, made as shallow as practicable, and located to maximize use of natural on-site infiltration features while still meeting the other requirements of this chapter.

(n)     Roof drains should not be connected to streets, sanitary or storm sewers, or roadside ditches.

(o)     Applicants are encouraged to use low impact development practices to reduce the costs of complying with the requirements of this chapter and the state water quality requirements.

(p)     When stormwater management facilities are proposed within 1,000 feet of a downstream municipality, the developer shall notify the downstream municipality and provide a copy of the SWM plan, if requested, for review and comment.


(a)     Under no circumstances shall the applicant be exempt from implementing such measures as necessary to:

(a)(1)     Meet state water quality standards and requirements.

(a)(2)     Protect health, safety, and property.

(a)(3)     Meet special requirements for high quality (HQ) and exceptional value (EV) watersheds.

(b)     The applicant must utilize the following BMPs to the maximum extent practicable to receive consideration for the exemptions:

(b)(1)     Design around and limit disturbance of floodplains, wetlands, natural slopes over 15%, existing native vegetation, and other sensitive and special value features.

(b)(2)     Maintain riparian and forested buffers.

(b)(3)     Limit grading and maintain non-erosive flow conditions in natural flow paths.

(b)(4)     Maintain existing tree canopies near impervious areas.

(b)(5)     Minimize soil disturbance and reclaim disturbed areas with topsoil and vegetation.

(b)(6)     Direct runoff to pervious areas.

(c)     The applicant’s proposed development/additional impervious area may not adversely impact the following:

(c)(1)     Capacities of existing drainageways and storm sewer systems.

(c)(2)     Velocities and erosion.

(c)(3)     Quality of runoff if direct discharge is proposed.

(c)(4)     Existing known problem areas.

(c)(5)     Safe conveyance of the additional runoff.

(c)(6)     Downstream property owners.

(d)     An applicant proposing regulated activities, after demonstrating compliance with divisions (a), (b) and (c) above, may be exempted from various requirements of this chapter according to the following table:


  • New impervious area since the date of adoption of this chapter.
  • Gravel in existing condition shall be considered pervious and gravel in proposed condition shall be considered impervious.
  • The small project stormwater management application included in Appendix E to Ord. 509-11 may be used for projects under 2,500 s.f. of new impervious surface and single family home construction. The small project SWM application allows documentation of new impervious surface.

(e)     Single family residential activities are exempt from these requirements provided the construction:

(e)(1)     Complies with Section 1043.030(g) and divisions (a), (b) and (c) of this section, and

(e)(2)     Have building setback 75 feet from downstream property lines, and

(e)(3)     Driveways:

(e)(3)(A)     Runoff must discharge onto pervious surface with a gravel strip or other spreading device.

(e)(3)(B)     No more than 1,000 square feet of paved surface may discharge to any one point.

(e)(3)(C)     The length of flow on the pervious must exceed the length of the paved surface flow.

(e)(4)     The Municipality can require more information or require mitigation of certain impacts through installation of stormwater management BMPs if there is a threat to property, health, or safety.

(f)     An applicant proposing regulated activities, after demonstrating compliance with divisions (a), (b) and (c) of this section, may be exempted from various requirements of this chapter if documentation can be provided that a downstream man-made water body (i.e., reservoir, lake, man-made wetlands, or other BMP) has been designed or modified to address the potential stormwater flooding and volume impacts of the proposed development.

(g)     The purpose of this section is to ensure consistency of stormwater management planning between local ordinances and NPDES permitting (when required) and to ensure that the applicant has a single and clear set of stormwater management standards to which the applicant is subject.  The Municipality may accept alternative stormwater management controls under this section provided that:

(g)(1)     The Municipality, in consultation with the PADEP (or delegated authority), determines that meeting the volume control requirements (see Section 1043.033) is not possible or places an undue hardship on the applicant.

(g)(2)     The alternative controls are documented to be acceptable to PADEP (or delegated authority) for NPDES requirements pertaining to post construction stormwater management requirements.

(g)(3)     The alternative controls are in compliance with all other sections of this chapter, including but not limited to Sections 1403.030(d) and 1403.031(a) through (c).

(h)     Agricultural activity is exempt from the rate control and SWM site plan preparation requirements of this chapter provided the activities are performed according to the requirements of 25 PA Code Chapter 102.

(i)     Forest Management and timber operations are exempt from the rate and volume control requirement and SWM site plan preparation requirement of this chapter provided the activities are performed according to the requirements of 25 PA Code Chapter 102.  It should be noted that temporary roadways are not exempt.

(j)     The Municipality may deny or revoke any exemption pursuant to this section at any time for any project that the municipality believes may pose a threat to public health, safety, property, or the environment.

1043.032     WAIVERS

(a)(1)     All wavier requests must meet the provisions of division (g) of this section.  Waivers shall not be issued from implementing such measures as necessary to:

(a)(1)(A)     Meet state water quality standards and requirements.

(a)(1)(B)     Protect health, safety, and property.

(a)(1)(C)     Meet special requirements for high quality (HQ) and exceptional value (EV) watersheds.

(a)(2)     Municipalities will then consider waivers in accordance with Section 1043.030(d); except that waiver requests for relief from the design requirements of Section  1043.075(b) and (c) will be processed by the Municipality at its sole discretion.

(b)     When applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the governing body of the Municipality that a requirement of this chapter causes undue hardship as it applies to a proposed project, and that an alternate design produces equal or better results in meeting the purpose and requirements of this chapter, the governing body of the Municipality, after completing a thorough technical review consistent with division (a) above, may grant a waiver request.

(c)     Applicants shall submit requests for waivers in writing, and these requests shall be included as part of a permit application submission.  In the request for waiver, the applicant shall state in full the facts of undue hardship on which the request is based, identify the provision or provisions of the chapter that are causing such undue hardship, and state the minimum waiver or relief that is necessary.  The applicant shall state how the proposal in the applicant’s waiver request provides equal or better results in meeting the purpose and requirements of this chapter.

(d)     The Municipality shall keep a written record of all actions on waiver requests in the project file.

(e)     The Municipality may charge applicants fees for waiver requests sufficient to cover all costs incurred by the Municipality to process the requests.

(f)     In processing waiver requests, the Municipality may impose reasonable conditions that will, in its sole judgment, resolve the undue hardship while meeting the purpose and requirements of this chapter.

(g)     The Municipality may grant requests for waivers when the following findings are made by the Municipality, when each is determined solely by the Municipality to be applicable and relevant:

(g)(1)     That the waiver shall result in an equal or better means of complying with the purpose and requirements of this chapter.

(g)(2)     That the waiver is the minimum necessary to provide relief from undue hardship.

(g)(3)     That the applicant is not requesting a waiver based solely on cost considerations.

(g)(4)     That existing down gradient stormwater problems will not be exacerbated by the proposed waiver request.

(g)(5)     That runoff is not being diverted to a different drainage area in a manner that may cause hardship to others.

(g)(6)     That increased flooding or ponding on off-site properties or roadways will not be caused by the waiver request.

(g)(7)     That potential icing conditions will not be caused by the waiver request.

(g)(8)     That increased or unusual municipal maintenance expenses will not result from the waiver request.

(g)(9)     That operation and maintenance requirements are not reduced by the waiver request.

1043.033     VOLUME CONTROLS

(a)     The low impact development practices provided in the BMP Manual and in Appendix B to Ord. 509-11 shall be utilized for all regulated activities to the maximum extent practicable.

(b)     Stormwater runoff volume controls shall be implemented using the Design Storm Method or the Simplified Method as defined below.  For regulated activity areas equal or less than one acre that do not require hydrologic routing to design the stormwater facilities, this chapter establishes no preference for either method; therefore, the applicant may select either method on the basis of economic considerations, the intrinsic limitations on applicability of the analytical procedures associated with each methodology, and other factors.

(b)(1)     The Design Storm Method (CG-1 in the BMP Manual) is applicable to any sized regulated activity.  This method requires detailed modeling based on site conditions.

(b)(1)(A)     Do not increase the post-development total runoff volume for all storms equal to or less than the two-year 24-hour storm.

(b)(1)(B)     For hydrologic modeling purposes:

(b)(1)(B)(1)     Existing non-forested pervious areas must be considered meadow (good condition) for pre-development hydrologic calculations.

 (b)(1)(B)(2)     Twenty percent of existing impervious area, when present within the proposed project site, shall be considered meadow (good condition) for pre-development hydrologic calculations for redevelopment.

 (b)(2)     The Simplified Method (CG-2 in the BMP Manual) is independent of site conditions and should be used if the Design Storm Method is not followed.  This method is not applicable to Regulated Activities greater than 1 acre, or for projects that require detailed design of stormwater storage facilities.  For new impervious surfaces:

(b)(2)(A)     Stormwater facilities shall capture at least the first two inches of runoff from all new impervious surfaces.

(b)(2)(B)     At least the first one inch of runoff from new impervious surfaces shall be permanently removed from the runoff flow, i.e., it shall not be released into surface Waters of the Commonwealth.  Removal options include reuse, evaporation, transpiration, and infiltration.

(b)(2)(C)     Wherever possible, infiltration facilities should be designed to accommodate infiltration of the entire permanently removed runoff; however, in all cases at least the first one-half inch of the permanently removed runoff should be infiltrated.

(b)(2)(D)     Actual field infiltration tests at the location of the proposed elevation of the stormwater BMPs are required.  Infiltration test shall be conducted in accordance with the BMP Manual.  A minimum 48-hour notification of the Municipality shall be provided to allow witnessing of the testing.

(b)(3)     In cases where it is not possible or desirable to use infiltration-based best management practices to partially fulfill the requirements in either division (b)(1) or (b)(2) above, the following procedure shall be provided to allow witnessing of the testing:

(b)(3)(A)     At a minimum, the following documentation shall be provided to justify the decision to reduce the use of infiltration BMPs:

(b)(3)(A)(1)     Description of and justification for field infiltration/permeability testing with respect to the type of test and test locations.

(b)(3)(A)(2)     An interpretive narrative describing existing site soils and their structure as these relate to the interaction between soils and water.  In addition to providing soil and soil profile descriptions, this narrative shall identify depth to seasonal high water tables and depth to bedrock, and provide a description of all subsurface elements (fragipans and other restrictive layers, geology, and the like) that influence the direction and rate of subsurface water movement).

(b)(3)(A)(3)     A qualitative assessment of the site’s contribution to annual aquifer recharge shall be made, along with identification of any restrictions or limitations associated with the use of engineered infiltration facilities.

(b)(3)(A)(4)     The provided documentation must be signed and sealed by a professional engineer or geologist.

 (b)(3)(A)(5)     A professional opinion stating that the proposed ground water recharge is consistent with natural recharge, is reasonable, and is consistent with this chapter.

(b)(3)(B)     The following water quality pollutant load reductions will be required for all disturbed areas within the proposed development:

(b)(3)(C)     The performance criteria for water quality best management practices shall be determined from the Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual, most current version.

(c)     The applicable worksheets from the BMP Manual must be used in calculations to establish volume control.

1043.034     RATE CONTROLS

(a)     Lands contained within Erie County that have not had release rates established under an approved Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan:

(a)(1)     Post-development discharge rates shall not exceed the pre-development discharge rates for the 1-year, 2-year, 10-year, 25-year, 50-year, and 100-year storms.

(b)     Lands contained within Erie County that have had release rates established under an approved Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan:

(b)(1)     The post-development peak discharge rates shall be in accordance with the approved release map for the following watersheds (see Appendices for release rate map):

(b)(1)(A)     Lake Erie watersheds.